Visa run to Cambodia

An early rise for me, my first the entire holiday. Amazing how my internal clock knows when I need to get up early. I was awake 5 min before the alarm went off. I had packed my bag the night before so it was easy, get up, grab bag, head to pick up point.

The mini-bus that I was on was packed with tourists all doing a visa run to some place called Phoem Phem or something. Kak mission, I knew I had to sit in this bus all freaking day. Sigh!

When we got to the ferry I decided I needed to make a friend. I started chatting to a Danish guy called Lief, really interesting guy. He loves his diving and chasing the sun around the world. he told me all about Indonesia, I think this needs to be my next destination. Sound fantastic. Before I go to Indo I am gonna have to learn how to surf.

After the ferry crossing to mainland from Koh Chang, we were herded back into the bus for the long journey to the border. As I said, what a kak mission. Sigh!

We arrived at the border post and stamped through. What I realized after stamping through is that They cancel my 30 day visa and reissue a 14 day visa. The result is that I now only have a visa until the 6th January 2012, which worked out to be 7 days less than I had before. This wasted a whole day for me, cost me 3000 baht and basically fucked me for my holiday.

Not my finest hour, but there has to be a silver lining and I consider meeting Lief the Danish 55 year old guy that silver lining. What an interesting man, a diver and traveller with some fascinating life experiences to share with me.

Now I need to figure out what to do next, should I just pay the fine on exit for over staying my welcome and risk serious crap. Should I fly out to another country and stamp out again? What to do? A serious cock up on my part, but I consider it a life experience and will never make this mistake again.

I have chatted to various people about my options and it would seem that paying 500 Baht per day for each day past my visa might be the easiest thing for me to do. I have not got time at any stage to do another border run and buying a ticket might cost the same as buying a ticket. Decisions decisions…. Going to mull this over for the next week or so and chat to various people about my options before I make up my mind.

Kayaking, sun burn and gin

At Baan Rim Nam there are kayaks available for all of the guests, this was one of the things that Ian the owner of the guest house had commented during our email chats. I was looking forward to missioning up the river and into the open sea.

The first day we arrived I was feeling extremely hungover from my last Lonely Beach party with Braam and Zuzka, Barbs didn’t join us that night. I had drunk SangSom which is a Thai Whiskey, actually rum. Anyways, point is I didn’t hit the kayak ride until the sun was setting. We went for a kayak mission up the river to see what the area looked like. Beautiful!

The second day at Baan Rim Nam was the 22nd December and we got up fairly early to go grab breakfast before our kayak adventure. One of my objectives was to book my Visa run for the 23rd December. Due to the fact that I was staying 37 days I needed to extend my visa for an extra 7 days. Sorted, so we headed back to guest house.

We set off around 11am. The first island didn’t look too far, but actually it was hard work getting to the island. We used the islands as markers and aimed for them. There was a small island just near Lonely beach that we saw had a beach, it was small enough to look deserted. We finally got to the island after over 1 hour of kayaking. So when we arrived we broke out the snacks and laid down our towels. Food and chill was in order. We relaxed in the sun and shade for about 30min.

We got on our way and aimed for the coast this time, our goal was to find a spot with decent food. We pulled into some random beach and found a nice looking resort with a restaurant. After a satisfying lunch we realized that we still had a fairly long kayak paddle to get home to Baan Rim Nam, so off we headed.

On our way we absorbed a little too much sun without thinking, we have put plenty of sun block on our upper body and faces. BUT nothing on our legs! Not sure what we were thinking. Barbs wanted her legs to get a bit of sun, but they were white so they turned bright pink. My legs were pretty tanned, but still burned somewhat on my shins.

Once back at the guest house we decided to chill hard and wait for the temperature to cool down a bit. Relaxing on our bed we realized that our legs needed after sun, so I put on my running shoes and headed into town.

I wrote down a number of odds and ends that I needed to buy. First stop was Kati’s cooking school, I needed to buy a gift for my mom. Next step was to get some Thai for for an early dinner. Last stop was 7eleven for the most important ingredients = tonic & ice for our gin, after sun and some more bottled water.

When I arrived back Barbs was in agony, her legs were glowing a brighter pink than before. After sun and ice was the first thing she wanted. We moved to the deck overlooking the river and ate our delicious Thai take aways.

We had to plan our next few days because my visa run threw a spanner in the works. We were due to head off to the next island on the 23rd Dec, but my visa run meant I only got back around 4 or 5 pm which was too late to catch a boat to our next destination. Logistics were a pain in the arse.

Ian the owner of Baan Rim Nam could not host us for another night, so I had to find another place to stay for the 23rd. He made some suggestions as to where we could stay near by. I put my running shoes back on and went to investigate. I run all the way up Klong Prao beach and then back. I faint a cool hut on the beach at Tiger Hut Resort for 600 Baht a night. Sold! I had to come back later and pay the deposit.

Barbs came along with me to pay the deposit, seeing she had to do the move in the morning it made most sense. We were set and headed back home for some more gin and tonic. Good times chilling next to the river.